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Rodriguez goes back to basics to make D-backs

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Left-handed reliever Santos Rodriguez figured he needed to change his mechanics, so he went back to what worked best.

"I'm back to throwing more over-the-top, like I have for most of my career," Rodriguez, 26, said. "Last year, the White Sox wanted me to release the ball at a different arm angle, much lower, and it affected everything. My control was off, my velocity was down, everything was wrong."

Rodriguez was claimed off waivers from the White Sox last month and is vying for a spot in the organization. Last season, he went 2-0 with a 4.91 ERA in 47 2/3 innings and 61 strikeouts in 33 relief appearances four Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte using the new arm-slot. He signed with the Braves in 2006 and was traded to the White Sox in 2008.

"I feel like everything is a lot better than it was," Rodriguez said. "I'm more comfortable with my mechanics and I feel stronger."

Rodriguez, who is from Samana, Dominican Republic, said he spent the offseason working out daily with pitching prospects Yordano Ventura of the Kansas City Royals and Lisalverto Bonilla of the Texas Rangers.

Rodriguez threw live batting practice on Sunday morning.

"He came over from the White Sox and we're hoping they gave up on him too early," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "He's got a good arm and good stuff. He got here a little late. He threw the ball pretty well and you can see he's got something in him."

Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB.
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